Monday, 13 October 2014

5 reasons you should be using Prezi

We’ve all been there. The sinking feeling when you know the next two hours will be ‘death by PowerPoint.’ Nobody wants to sit through a badly formatted presentation, and nobody wants to feel they’re boring their audience.   Your style and the quality of your presentation can make a big difference to the way you are perceived, so it’s important to make it as good as it can be. Enter Prezi, a free (at baseline functionality) presentation builder – here are 5 reasons you should ditch the PowerPoints today.
  • The tools you use reflect how up to date you are with changing trends. This is especially relevant if you’re a marketer – you’re representing your company through your presentation, so using outdated technology can leave you looking out of touch.
  • Prezi doesn’t use slides, it moves around a map of your design which is far less monotonous. You can make your Prezi as flamboyant as you like, embed videos and add music, whatever you think is likely to keep your audience interested.
  • As Prezi is based online, you can share it extremely easily. If you want to send out your presentation after a meeting, all you need to do is group email attendees with a link to your Prezi.
  • You can work on it wherever you are and access your Prezi anytime, anywhere. You can download it to your desktop if you’re going to an internet black spot, or you can make last minute changes on your iPad on the way to a meeting. There is also the facility for multiple people to work on a Prezi at a time, so instead of sending notes back and forth, you can edit as a team in real time, no matter where your colleagues are.
  • It’s very user friendly. Changing standard software can be a challenge, especially if you are part of a large team, but you can get everybody on board with Prezi with just half a day’s training.

If you’d like to know more about Prezi and how to use it, talk to us for further information and details about our training sessions.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Real-time advertising: is its 15 minutes up?

It was a year and a half ago that the team at Oreo sent their game-changing SuperBowl tweet – a tweet that would eventually win them both a silver and a bronze Cannes lion.

Brands scrambled to follow their lead, to prove their cultural relevance and ingenuity by tailoring their ads to real-time events. We saw a legion of royal baby real-time spots, of which very few were truly successful or original. Charmin won big with a Thor tie-in which remained news long after the tweet was (presumably due to copyright) deleted. Every savvy British brand jumped on the Andy Murray win, again with varying degrees of success.

But let me ask you something. When was the last time you saw a real-time advert, successful or otherwise? Not in 2014, I’ll bet. It seems as though the real-time revolution has fizzled to nothing and nobody seems to know, or care, why.

What happened to this supposedly game-changing practice? Essentially it was unrepeatable. The Oreo moment was fantastic. It was novel, witty and intelligent entirely because there was no way they could’ve known there would be a blackout. It was REAL real-time. Subsequent copycat “real-time” ads couldn’t capture that Oreo magic because all the events reacted to, royal baby, film release, and even sports results, could be prepared in advance. The baby was always going to be born, the film would always be released, and Murray had to win or lose.

If social media has taught us anything, it’s that consumers like to think of brands as friends – Oreo seemed like our quick witted buddy. Unfortunately, nobody laughs at the joke that was prepared days earlier, and that is where ‘real-time’ advertising fell down. What we as marketers should take away from this is that band-wagons are dangerous, and we need to think before we jump aboard.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Can we really ask consumers to trust social media marketing?

A recent study conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing has found that as few as 1 in 5 consumers trust social media marketing, and more than half of those surveyed felt there should be tighter regulations on advertising across social media platforms.
As a business which handles social media for a range of clients, we too feel the effects of consumer distrust, and the paramount importance of using verifiable sources and facts when promoting or recommending a product online.
But why the lack of trust?  An unscrupulous few take advantage of the freedom of online marketing by advertising falsely or misleadingly in a forum where there are little or no rules about fair marketing practice. The joy of the internet in terms of consumer safety is that you can share your experiences and read the reviews of other shoppers – however, increasingly reviews are appearing which are blatantly fabricated in order to mislead the consumer, which devalues the entire process.
The techniques consumers found most unethical were the creation of fake accounts for the purpose of leaving positive reviews for your own company, and employing tactics to hide negative online content. The latter can be achieved by simply burying a negative news story or review by bombarding the host site with spam or fabricated reviews until the bad news is safely hidden.
This is an inevitable problem considering the popularity of sites such as Trip Advisor, but it presents a problem for ethical business owners, and us their PR people, – how can I demonstrate the honesty of my, or my client’s, online presence?
For us, it comes down to being direct. If a client gets a negative reaction online then we work with the client to address it, rather than attempting to bury it or avoiding it entirely. From our perspective, everything is an opportunity to showcase brand value – a criticism of your business may be frustrating, but it gives you the chance to demonstrate your maturity and character as a brand.
If you would like some support to help manage your online presence,  give us a call on 01384 878777

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It ain't what you tweet, it's the way that you tweet it

Why hire a social media consultant?  Why not tweet for yourself? It’s a question often posed by professionals unacquainted with the nuances of Twitter. The answer is that tweeting isn’t enough, you have to tweet strategically, at the right times with the right content. Here are our top 5 tips for better tweeting:

1.     Time your tweets – make sure you’re getting maximum reach by using software like Buffer, which determines the most advantageous time to send each tweet based on whose online when.

2.     Keep it light – don’t tweet exclusively about your business, tweet related interest pieces that draw people in to your feed, and then pepper the lightweight content with business information.

3.     Interact! This is incredibly important. Tweeting alone will not raise your profile, join TwitChats, comment on other tweets, make your presence felt and you’ll see your follower figures shoot up

4.     Tag your tweet – In our experience, some of the most successful tweets are the ones which tag other users. Get involved in Follower Friday and tag a selection of your favourite tweeters, if they re-tweet you then you extend your reach to however many followers they have on top of your own.

5.     #Hashtag – In our experience, one of the biggest Twit-mysteries for the uninitiated is the hashtag. What is it for? It tags you in to a subject, making your tweets more locatable to relevant users. Automotive expert? End your tweets with #Autos #Cars #Automotive, so if anyone searches those terms, your tweet will be included in the list of results.

So go start tweeting at people, hashtagging and searching for interesting content, if you’d like to know more about building a following online, get in touch with our team – we’d love to hear from you!